I run because it reminds me that I am alive. Because it reminds me of what is truly important, to not worry so much about the destination, but to focus on the journey. To have peace within, so that we can love those around us and those who we care about. I run for the exhilaration of freedom, escaping into the mountains or even the sidewalks reminds me of all the beauty that God has put into His creation. The fact that I get to witness it everyday is a miracle in itself.
Yesterday I found out that a good childhood friend and his wife were killed in a car accident, leaving behind three young boys. As I ran this morning the memories of him flooded my head, from the first time we met in fourth grade; to when we were playing Little League together and into High School.
I still remember the conversation he and I had the night before I decided to join the Army. I was working a dead end job, trying to go to Junior College and I ran into him at the Mobile Station across from the Arnot Mall. He had just enlisted in the Marines and suggested I go and talk to them. The next day I went to speak with the Marines, but they weren't there, an Army recruiter was. The rest of that story is how my life has turned out from there. But I have R. to thank for that push towards a career in the Military. I am sure he doesn't have any idea how much influence that one conversation had on my entire life, and I will be forever grateful.
Over the years, R. and I were not very close; we would hang out when we were home together, but time and distance does what it does and it has honestly been years since I have thought about him. That doesn't make this tragedy hurt any less, in fact it may hurt more because of it. I never met his wife or his boys, except through facebook photos, and that makes his loss that much harder.
I spent time in prayer with God as I ran today, he took me to the Roller Coaster for 10 miles with over 1,000 ft of climbing and it was here that I learned a small lesson in life: we all have an expiration date, but just because we will all die and we will all lose people we care about does not give us an excuse to wallow in misery. Life is for the living, mourn for those we lose, but live your life that much harder and love people more because we never know when our time will come.